Gilbert & George Exhibition Launch and Protest

Gilbert & George Exhibition Launch and Protest

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Details

Location

Belfast, Ormeau Baths Gallery

Year

1999

Date

Transmission 15/10/1999

Length

03min 32sec

Audio

sound

Format

DVC

colour

Source

Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)

Courtesy

Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Rights Holder

ITV

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.

Description

News segment focusing on the artists Gilbert & George and the opening of their 1999 exhibition at the Ormeau Baths Gallery.

The opening night of the exhibition was picketed by a group of Free Presbyterian protesters, led by Reverend Alan Smylie. They are pictured outside the gallery, singing and holding aloft banners - 'Sin is a Reproach to any Nation.' They objected to what they considered the obscene and provocative subject matter contained in the artworks - nude depictions of the artists themselves, representations of human excretia and the strong language of certain titles.

Interviewed by Ivan Little, the artists themselves appear unfazed by the protests. Unfailingly polite, they explain that "we more than understand their thoughts and feelings... But, as western artists we have the privilege of freedom of speech and so do they, and we say, may the best man win!"

Additional interviewees include (Sinn Fein) Councillor Marie Moore, Councillor Stephen McBride and other attendees, the latter attempting to engage the protestors in dialogue. 

Notes

Gilbert and George returned to Belfast almost two decades later, in 2018, exhibiting in the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC). Again, they were met by protests.

Credits

Featured are Gilbert and George. 

 

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